Porn Addiction

pinman

Registrant
Anyone else here addicted to porn? I'm 39 and have been since adolescence. My sex life has been emotionally painful because of abuse at the hands of my mom until age 8. I have a wife now with two kids but I've never been able to be fully present in sex and fully connect with her when climaxing. Our sex life has always been infrequent. I'm addicted to porn and find it difficult to stop. Masurbation and porn use have been the only method where I have felt fully relaxed and truly safe in regards to arousal. Also, stripclubs when I was single as well. This has been a thorn in my side my whole adult life and I am looking to finally fix it. To gain an experience and connection which others have.
 
Lots of people are addicted to porn. It wouldn’t be the industry that it is without it. There is an addiction cycle that can be interrupted at any point on the cycle to help break the addiction.

I found that being on the proper meds helps immensely; I am dopamine deficient and have OCD. Learning to deal with shame and guilt properly is important also,

But all that you mention about your sex life is common among porn addicts. Also for survivors of CSA. With porn you are in control, there is no need for intimacy...

Edit: something else I learned is that it’s always a cycle. Sometimes minutes long, hours long, days long or months long... it’s ‘baffling and cunning’.
 
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It helped me to understand my acting out behavior, which at times has included use of pornography, when my therapist characterized these as my attempts to gain mastery over something that was overwhelming to me when I first experienced it. Being sexually abused by our mothers can be remarkably destabilizing because we've never had the opportunity to feel safe in our own bodies or in our immediate surroundings. We dissociated when very young and find it easier to slip away from the moment when difficult emotions are present. Pornography works as well as drugs and alcohol to take us away. And since we were doubtless sexualized by our early trauma, it is quite natural that we'd turn to some form of sexual acting out to soothe ourselves.

I remember when doing sensate focusing with my fourth wife as we tried to attend to the sexual abuse which had only recently been uncovered. I'd been a bit of a slam/bang/thank you mam kind of lover... a wonderful seducer capable of great passion and stamina, and able to satisfy my partner. But when we lay next to each other in bed and I was pleasuring myself the erection that developed arrived with TERROR... unlike anything I'd experienced before. Suddenly I understood why real intimacy that would have me be fully present to my partner never worked. I was terrified of such closeness. Now, I finally understand that was a direct result of what happened with my mother. Her sexual arousal and she did what she wanted with my genitals terrified me because what she was doing terrified her. Perhaps it had come from her own sexual abuse as a child. I never knew about that, but in reality none of that mattered. I WAS terrified and it stayed with me my entire life. It is still here since I haven't had a sexual encounter with a woman in decades. Yes, I could get off looking at a computer screen, but I eventually concluded that pornography is NOT my friend... rather it is an extension of the sexual abuse and I have no wish to do that to myself again. It has been over a year and a half since I've had alcohol and about nine months since I used porn. I don't intend to ever use either again... simply because I want my life back.

I'm committed to my healing journey. That is why I'm on this website engaging in these conversations. Here I can tell the truth and it will be received. Here I meet other men who were sexually abused who wish to claim their lives. We can support one another along the way. You're very welcome to join us.
 

Tom E.

Registrant
I had a terrible addiction to porn for many years. I spent thousands of dollars on it. I finally broke the cycle in 12 step recovery groups & destroyed it all. NO MORE!
 
I'm addicted to porn and find it difficult to stop.
Here's a link to a website I found that might be helpful to you: Porn Recovery Connections

I struggled with porn for a number of years. When I found out that it was destroying my ability to be intimate with a woman and recover my health, I stopped cold turkey. I suppose I had been highly ambivalent anyways and it didn't take much to convince me to drop it. The rest of my healing journey has been much more challenging.

I hope you find a way to let go of this addiction.

Cheers,
Garth
 

pinman

Registrant
Here's a link to a website I found that might be helpful to you: Porn Recovery Connections

I struggled with porn for a number of years. When I found out that it was destroying my ability to be intimate with a woman and recover my health, I stopped cold turkey. I suppose I had been highly ambivalent anyways and it didn't take much to convince me to drop it. The rest of my healing journey has been much more challenging.

I hope you find a way to let go of this addiction.

Cheers,
Garth
Did you still masturbate without porn during you're recovery?
 
Hi Pinman,
Did you still masturbate without porn during you're recovery?
I started my recovery from sexual abuse in 2004. About 2007 I came across Marnia Robinson's book Peace Between the Sheets. At that point I began to realize that porn was hurtful to me so I cut it out. Masturbation took longer to stop but I can't remember the last time I masturbated. It probably helps that I'm in my mid-fifties now and the drive is much weaker than it was years ago. I'm also focusing my energy very strongly on healing early childhood wounds. Any kind of sexualization of my energy tends to mess with that and make it more difficult to face and transform the pain. So the short answer is "No, I don't". Not anymore anyways. It kind of went away as I pursued a deeper level of healing.

I hope this is helpful to you. Don't beat yourself up for using porn or masturbating. I found that once I saw what it was doing to me and gained enough self compassion for myself, it stopped on its own.

Cheers,

Garth
 
I'd like to point out that neither 12-step programs nor tantric practices (which is what Garth is describing) are necessary for healing pornography dependence. Some guys find them useful, but others do not. It's a very individual path and unfortunately there's no one thing that's going to work for everyone.
 

rileyk86

Registrant
Porn addiction and frequent masturbation is common in both men and women sexually abused as children. I started masturbating constantly at age 11, and looking at porn as soon as I knew what that was. I was sexually abused between 6 and 8 by a step mother including Sodomy with objects. I am addicted to porn when I do masturbate. I have to watch it or I can't do it. So I understand the need. As an adult now I don't do it that often. Addiction is very common too in victims of all forms of child abuse.
 

opened box

Registrant
This thread particularly resonates with me. I’ve never thought that I was “addicted” to porn, but from reading others experiences, I realize that I masturbate very frequently and can only reach orgasm by using porn. I’m gaining so much insight here. As a 53 year old gay man, I just always assumed that this was a common form of sexuality. It has occurred to me over time that I masturbate for sexual release so that I don’t have to deal with the intimacy that should exist with another partner.
I’ve only had two relationships in my life. A six year relationship with a man twenty years older than me - my abuser was roughly 20 years older than me when I was a teenager - when I was 20 years old and he was forty. We had sexual problems from the outset and after the first year stopped having sex at all. Incredibly he in frustration asked/accused me of having been sexually “molested”. I completely rejected that idea as I had suppressed it until around two years ago. The only other relationship lasted six months with another older man in a position of authority over me.
All of this to say that I can only use porn for a sexual outlet. I’m interested to hear more about how other men have dealt with this.
 

AnyMouse

Registrant
I was searching in porn for some unknown thing until I found it. Then I went down the rabbit hole, luckily I have been in therapy and figured out what it all meant and it lost it’s power over me. I’m not saying I am over pornography but I finally understand what I was feeling and why. But I can totally understand how it can ruin your life in the bedroom if you are trying to save your relationship.

Therapy is the best place to address those desires and truthfully ask yourself about the things you desire. And then the road of acceptance.
 
for me, it was part of sexualizing the abuse - reliving it in an altered form as fantasy.

I talk about it here:
 

pinman

Registrant
Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to respond to my initial post. Much love and compassion to all of you. This forum really makes me feel much less alone with my trauma struggles.
 

pinman

Registrant
This thread particularly resonates with me. I’ve never thought that I was “addicted” to porn, but from reading others experiences, I realize that I masturbate very frequently and can only reach orgasm by using porn. I’m gaining so much insight here. As a 53 year old gay man, I just always assumed that this was a common form of sexuality. It has occurred to me over time that I masturbate for sexual release so that I don’t have to deal with the intimacy that should exist with another partner.
I’ve only had two relationships in my life. A six year relationship with a man twenty years older than me - my abuser was roughly 20 years older than me when I was a teenager - when I was 20 years old and he was forty. We had sexual problems from the outset and after the first year stopped having sex at all. Incredibly he in frustration asked/accused me of having been sexually “molested”. I completely rejected that idea as I had suppressed it until around two years ago. The only other relationship lasted six months with another older man in a position of authority over me.
All of this to say that I can only use porn for a sexual outlet. I’m interested to hear more about how other men have dealt with this.
I only started to remember that I was molested by my mother around 4 years ago. I'm seeing so many connections now to how i have dealt with emotions throughout my life (I'm 39), my addictive behavior and how I interact with my wife. It has been both daunting and truly eye opening. I wish you much peace and healing through your journey!
 
Hi, I want to share a little what it was doing for me too.
for me, it was part of sexualizing the abuse - reliving it in an altered form as fantasy.
I think masturbation and porn were strategies to keep my energy low so that I
1. Would be less attractive to my mother
2. Less likely to come into conflict with my father.

It worked in my youth but wasn't so helpful once I'd left home.

Just thought I'd add that :)

Cheers,

Garth
 

Erik Zachary

Registrant
This thread makes me feel less alone in all this. I am usually to embarrassed and ashamed to talk about my porn addiction in therapy. When I recently tried to touch on the subject my T suggested that I struggle with it because I was forced to watch it when I was about 5 or 6. I have no idea what happened before or after or even during other than I was trapped by an older boy while he made me watch. I started masturbating very early compared to peers (around 9ish). I would watch porn just about every night for two years even though it would end up leading to further abuse.

I've found that i cant masturbate without it or else my mind will return to the trauma and try to replay it during the deed. I've tried other ways like reading erotic fiction, just pictures, or thinking about my good (now ex) boyfriend. They dont work. If you have suggestions please let me know.
 
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